January 22nd, 2011

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

As I’ve tried to document, French food is fabulous.  However, that said, sometimes you get a craving for something else.  Knowing that our two houseguests would be here for a while, and are avid beer fans, the BF and I wanted to take them to a local brewery for dinner.  In keeping with the new theme (“beer”tastic instead of “French”tastic), I wanted to make a tasty dessert.  Smitten Kitchen has a great-sounding recipe for chocolate cake made with Guinness and, based on the comments, I knew it was the right choice for this crowd.

Finding all the ingredients in a French grocery store proved to be a challenge but, baking soda and Dutch-processed cocoa in hand, my Saturday was taken up by this very time-consuming undertaking.  In the U.S. (at least in D.C.) there is a new trend to fill your cupcakes with something – frosting, jam, custard.  Since this recipe uses ganache, I wanted to fill the centers with ganache, a seemingly tricky endeavor based on previous cupcake-coring adventures that was made infinitely easier with a new cupcake decorating set that I got for Christmas.  An attempt to mix leftover chocolate from the ganache with whipping cream to make a new frosting proved futile, so they weren’t the prettiest cupcakes anyone’s ever eaten, but the flavors were insanely good.

The Guinness wasn’t super noticeable but the chocolate itself tasted more… complex.  More fancy than your average chocolate cupcake (ew, don’t waste my time… or the calories!) The ganache was the perfect complement.  Rave reviews all around.

The recipe below is for the Chocolate Stout Cake, which I followed exactly, evenly pouring the cake batter into cupcake tins and baking at 350 for about 18-20 minutes (until a toothpick came out clean). I then poured the ganache into holes I dug into the cooled cupcakes.  I later saw, though, that Smitten Kitchen actually adapted the recipe to cupcakes, with a change to the ganache recipe, herself.  Haven’t tried the new version but I’m sure it’s just as good.

We’ll definitely be making this one again.

Chocolate Stout Cake